Students earn funding for campus sustainability projects

Five students and one student team will each receive funding for projects they designed to support sustainability goals on campus and across northern Arizona as part of the Center for Sustainable Environments’ Henry Hooper Student Fund Sustainability Award.

“The Hooper awards are an outstanding opportunity for students to design and carry out their own sustainability projects that will make an important difference to the environment and to the community,” said Gary Deason, deputy director of the Center for Sustainable Environments.

The projects align with the university’s Campus Sustainability Plan, which models living and working sustainably both on and off campus. The plan promotes efforts like committing to incorporate green building practices into new campus facilities, promoting the efficient use of resources such as water, energy and waste management, and educating the campus and greater Flagstaff community about sustainable living practices.

The individual students will receive $1,000 and the team of two students will receive $1,600 to support the following projects:

  • Joshua Archambault and Kyle Ramsower, both junior mechanical engineering majors, will analyze the effects of geographic distribution of wind farms and determine the reliability of wind power during peak power grid usage.


  • Valencia Herder, a junior in the applied indigenous studies program, will construct five small greenhouses for the Hardrock Youth Garden Project on the Navajo Nation. Herder hopes to re-establish the connection between human well-being and a healthy environment by integrating traditional knowledge with garden based learning.


  • Katherine Jolda, a junior political science major, will work to help inform local communities about edible urban ecosystems while enhancing the environment through local garden development as well as organizing workshops and lectures on sustainable food production.


  • Javier Lara, a junior majoring in both mechanical engineering and business, will analyze the use of renewable energies, including solar and wind, to power water desalination in Arizona.


  • Jacob W. Sprinkle, sophomore forestry major, will study how rangeland sustainability in the arid Southwest relates to soil biology by collecting and analyzing soil samples containing mycorrhizal fungi in areas established as part of the rangeland monitoring program.


  • Ben Williams, senior environmental science major, will work to improve the sustainability of NAU Dining Services by increasing the amount of locally produced food purchased and reducing the amount of inorganic and non-biodegradable waste produced.

The Henry Hooper Fund was established in 2001 to honor and recognize Henry Hooper’s dedication to environmental programs at NAU. Hooper was associate vice president for Academic Affairs, Research and Graduate Studies, and dean of the Graduate College 1981-1995.

For information about NAU’s Campus Sustainability Plan, click here.